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Thread: Is it common to have so many hair color variations during your life?

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    Is it common to have so many hair color variations during your life?



    I was born with red and straight hair, but shortly after birth my hair became wavy and blond, then at the age of 9 it became brown and straight again. I never quite understood why the color and texture varied so drastically. My maternal grandfather had medium blond hair until she had gray hair, but all the other grandfathers had brown hair.


    I know it's natural for blond hair to turn brown in adulthood, but going from red to blond to brown (also changing the texture of straight hair to wavy and straight again) is new to me.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    I worked with a colleague, she had dark brown curly hair. But as she gave birth to her first child, her hair turned completely straight. That was already strange enough. After a while she had another child and her hair was suddenly curly again. Since she likes it more curly, she said to her husband - no more children for us.

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    A lot of people with curly hair find that it straightens with age. That happened to me. As a child I had Shirley Temple hair. Then it gradually loosened. It's still wavy, though.

    Red haired people often similarly find that the hair turns brownish in middle age, or at least that "vibrant" red in the hair dulls. That happened to all my red-headed aunts and cousins.

    As you said, blonde children often become light brown haired or even medium brown haired as adults. In fact, from my experience, I think that it's more common than not that Europeans as a whole are lighter haired as children than they are as adults.

    It must have something to do with the interplay of hormones with the pigmentation snps.

    I think severe physical or emotional shocks can also change hair color. Barbara Bush often said that when her young daughter died of leukemia her hair turned white over the course of a few days and she kept it that way in remembrance of her. In my own family, the same thing happened to my grandmother.

    The only change as severe as yours of which I'm aware was with my own son. He was born with a full, and I mean "full" head of black hair. My husband was over the moon, thinking he would look like him. :) Over the course of the next few months it turned platinum blonde, and none of it fell out, which as you might know usually happens to the hair of a newborn. He had his first haircut at around 9 months. :) It stayed blonde, and straight, until high school when it turned a medium brown. In the summer it still bleaches a bit, and if long it has a bit of a wave.

    Moesan didn't believe me. I had to post the pictures to prove it. :)


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    My hair is very straight, and lightens considerably when exposed to sunlight for a long period of time over a summer. Also, after I get a haircut it seems like I also got my hair dyed, as short-haired I am light brown while long-haired I am medium brown.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    A lot of people with curly hair find that it straightens with age. That happened to me. As a child I had Shirley Temple hair. Then it gradually loosened. It's still wavy, though.

    Red haired people often similarly find that the hair turns brownish in middle age, or at least that "vibrant" red in the hair dulls. That happened to all my red-headed aunts and cousins.

    As you said, blonde children often become light brown haired or even medium brown haired as adults. In fact, from my experience, I think that it's more common than not that Europeans as a whole are lighter haired as children than they are as adults.

    It must have something to do with the interplay of hormones with the pigmentation snps.

    I think severe physical or emotional shocks can also change hair color. Barbara Bush often said that when her young daughter died of leukemia her hair turned white over the course of a few days and she kept it that way in remembrance of her. In my own family, the same thing happened to my grandmother.

    The only change as severe as yours of which I'm aware was with my own son. He was born with a full, and I mean "full" head of black hair. My husband was over the moon, thinking he would look like him. :) Over the course of the next few months it turned platinum blonde, and none of it fell out, which as you might know usually happens to the hair of a newborn. He had his first haircut at around 9 months. :) It stayed blonde, and straight, until high school when it turned a medium brown. In the summer it still bleaches a bit, and if long it has a bit of a wave.

    Moesan didn't believe me. I had to post the pictures to prove it. :)
    Very interesting. I have never seen a case where brown hair turns blond, but the opposite is quite common. :)

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    i heard that it is very common among caucasians that the newborns have light blonde even white hairs often with a bit of red in it. they then turn darker from blonde to brown to dark brown/black. in my case i also had blonde curls as a child. now my hairs are less curly wavy dark brown/ black. my brother always had dark hairs from the start. today our hair is almost exactly the same.

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    @Ack
    I perfectly understand what you're saying, because that was what happened with my son. He didn't have red hair, but it was kind of reddish (people usually commented), and straight, when baby. Then it became "curly" and blond. My guess is that it'll become wavy and brown in adulthood.
    My father and I do have some red in "central beard" only, but I check our SNPs plus my wife's, and we don't have those more important alleles associated to red hair. The reddish in my son must have been associated to additional SNPs.

    Please check your results for the SNPs listed in Red Hair Variants Project at FTDNA:
    https://www.familytreedna.com/groups...out/background


    RefSNP
    SNP Name
    Alternate Name
    RSPOS
    Risk Allele
    rs1805008 Arg160Trp R160W 89986144
    T (C>T)
    rs885479 Arg163Gln R163Q 89986154
    A (G>A)
    rs2228479 Val92Met V92M 89985940
    A (G>A)
    rs1805006 Asp84Glu D84E 89919510
    A (C>A)
    rs1110400 Ile155Thr I155T 89986130
    C (T>C)
    rs1805005 Val60Leu V60L 89919436
    T (G>T)

    I get rs1805008 CC, rs885479 GG, rs2228479 AG, rs1805006 CC, rs1110400 TT and rs1805005 GT. So only rs2228479 and rs1805005 could explain this little red in beard.
    My wife and son get the same: rs1805008 CC, rs885479 GG (inferred for my son), rs2228479 GG, rs1805006 CC, rs1110400 TT and rs1805005 GT. So only one variant in rs1805005.

    Curiously, I didn't have this reddish tone when I was a baby. Theoretically my son's could be related to this "heterogeneity" at rs1805005, however, this result cannot be the whole story, since I get the same result and had different phenotype. My hypothesis is that he also inherited some other allele that caused early high depigmentation that facilitated this little "reddish" shows up. Either way, it was not enough for keeping his hair with that tone.
    Last edited by Regio X; 17-05-20 at 00:21.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regio X View Post
    @Ack
    I perfectly understand what you're saying, because that was what happened with my son. He didn't have red hair, but it was kind of reddish (people usually commented), and straight, when baby. Then it became "curly" and blond. My guess is that it'll become wavy and brown in adulthood.
    My father and I do have some red in "central beard" only, but I check our SNPs plus my wife's, and we don't have those more important alleles associated to red hair. The reddish in my son must have been associated to additional SNPs.

    Please check your results for the SNPs listed in this Project:
    https://www.familytreedna.com/groups...out/background


    RefSNP
    SNP Name
    Alternate Name
    RSPOS
    Risk Allele
    rs1805008 Arg160Trp R160W 89986144
    T (C>T)
    rs885479 Arg163Gln R163Q 89986154
    A (G>A)
    rs2228479 Val92Met V92M 89985940
    A (G>A)
    rs1805006 Asp84Glu D84E 89919510
    A (C>A)
    rs1110400 Ile155Thr I155T 89986130
    C (T>C)
    rs1805005 Val60Leu V60L 89919436
    T (G>T)

    I get rs1805008 CC, rs885479 GG, rs2228479 AG, rs1805006 CC, rs1110400 TT and rs1805005 GT. So only rs2228479 and rs1805005 could explain this little red in beard.
    My wife and son get the same: rs1805008 CC, rs885479 GG (inferred for my son), rs2228479 GG, rs1805006 CC, rs1110400 TT and rs1805005 GT. So only one variant in rs1805005.

    Curiously, I didn't have this reddish tone when I was a baby. Theoretically my son's could be related to this "heterogeneity" at rs1805005, however, this result cannot be the whole story, since I get the same result and had different phenotype. My hypothesis is that he also inherited some other allele that caused early high depigmentation that facilitated this little "reddish" shows up. Either way, it was not enough for keeping his hair with that tone.
    Just checked my parents'. My father has the same result as mine for rs2228479 (AG), while my mother has GG (ancestral). On the other hand, my father has rs1805005 GG (ancestral), whereas my mother has TT (derived). So it possibly means that this "beard feature", shared by my father and I, is closer related to rs2228479 (?), while my son's hair when baby could have been closer related to rs1805005.

    Btw, they're all in MC1R gene. Here're the magnitudes at SNPedia associated to the derived alleles:
    rs1805008 TT: 3
    rs885479 AA: 2
    rs2228479 AA: ?
    rs1805006 AA: 3
    rs1110400 CC: ?
    rs1805005 TT: ?

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    Someone else has red in the beard but isn't a redhead otherwise? I thought that was only my brother, like maybe some fluke mutation, but what you say makes sense, Regio X. I have an uncle (well, he's my mother's half-brother, but you don't say half-uncle!) who is a redhead and he has three red-haired children (out of five) so my brother could have inherited the recessive red-hair gene but it only manifests itself in the beard. I checked my data and while I do not have the recessive ginger gene, I do have the recessive blonde hair gene to go along with my brown hair, which manifests itself in some subtle gold highlights in my hair.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Joey37 View Post
    Someone else has red in the beard but isn't a redhead otherwise? I thought that was only my brother, like maybe some fluke mutation, but what you say makes sense, Regio X. I have an uncle (well, he's my mother's half-brother, but you don't say half-uncle!) who is a redhead and he has three red-haired children (out of five) so my brother could have inherited the recessive red-hair gene but it only manifests itself in the beard. I checked my data and while I do not have the recessive ginger gene, I do have the recessive blonde hair gene to go along with my brown hair, which manifests itself in some subtle gold highlights in my hair.
    Yep, these differences between hair and beard collors don't seem rare. In my case, it's not in all beard. Just few of it is red (mainly in mustache and below lips, but not totally), while the armit hair seems to be affected in some way (it's not actually red, neither reddish, but kind of "golden"). Naturally, these traits are more evident under stronger light.
    Anyway, they possibly has to do with the mutations I highlighted.

    There're some stuff about it in internet. This called my atention:
    "The red hair itself is caused by a mutation in what researchers call the MC1R gene. Having two mutated genes gives someone all red hair, but having just one can give a person red hair in unexpected places." je je
    https://www.gq.com/story/red-beard-h...-explained/amp

    Some more:
    https://www.businessinsider.com/why-...ad-hair-2017-1

    https://www.vice.com/amp/en_us/artic...t-not-red-hair

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regio X View Post
    Yep, these differences between hair and beard collors don't seem rare. In my case, it's not in all beard. Just few of it is red (mainly in mustache and below lips, but not totally), while the armit hair seems to be affected in some way (it's not actually red, neither reddish, but kind of "golden"). Naturally, these traits are more evident under stronger light.
    Anyway, they possibly has to do with the mutations I highlighted.
    There're some stuff about it in internet. This called my atention:
    "The red hair itself is caused by a mutation in what researchers call the MC1R gene. Having two mutated genes gives someone all red hair, but having just one can give a person red hair in unexpected places." je je
    https://www.gq.com/story/red-beard-h...-explained/amp
    Some more:
    https://www.businessinsider.com/why-...ad-hair-2017-1
    https://www.vice.com/amp/en_us/artic...t-not-red-hair
    Hello Regio.
    You mentioned something that I always found strange about me. The golden hair of the armpits. For a long time I believed that the use of deodorants caused these hairs to burn. But I don't think so. I always trim them with my beard trimmer and they grow back to the same golden color.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duarte View Post
    Hello Regio.
    You mentioned something that I always found strange about me. The golden hair of the armpits. For a long time I believed that the use of deodorants caused these hairs to burn. But I don't think so. I always trim them with my beard trimmer and they grow back to the same golden color.
    Interesting. So the "situation" must be similar. Please take a look on your results for these SNPs listed at the Project, in order to check if the trait could have something to do with any of them. If you tested at FTDNA or MyHeritage, you likely won't find rs885479. The others should be there.

    By the way, those two SNPs for which I'm heterozygous must make some difference, I guess, because I remember that in my teens a cousin decided to "bleaching" the hair using a product. He had lighy brown, and his hair became blond after few applications. The result was nice. I decided to try it too, but mine became reddish with few apps. I didn't understand why, and haven't tried further. I looked ridiculous. Lol Not sure whether it's something common to happen or if most of people would get also blond using it.

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    The progression when bleaching hair which is brown is always reddish first and then blonde. I remember the "genetic" reason, but it's also practical knowledge from decades of sitting in a beauty parlor once a month and listening to the conversations around me. :)

    The reason yours remained reddish is because they or you didn't leave it on long enough or the bleach wasn't strong enough or you didn't do enough applications.

    Of course, using so many applications of bleach or such a strong concentration ruins the hair, making it like straw and taking away all the natural shine. If it's on the scalp for too long or it's too strong the hair can break off.

    What many women, including my daughter, do, who were blonde and now are light to medium brown is have "highlights" put in, where they lighten only strands, not the whole head of hair. It's less damaging and is an attempt to re-capture the naturalness of their original hair. It doesn't work 100%, but the better the colorist the better the result.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    The progression when bleaching hair which is brown is always reddish first and then blonde. I remember the "genetic" reason, but it's also practical knowledge from decades of sitting in a beauty parlor once a month and listening to the conversations around me. :)

    The reason yours remained reddish is because they or you didn't leave it on long enough or the bleach wasn't strong enough or you didn't do enough applications.

    Of course, using so many applications of bleach or such a strong concentration ruins the hair, making it like straw and taking away all the natural shine. If it's on the scalp for too long or it's too strong the hair can break off.

    What many women, including my daughter, do, who were blonde and now are light to medium brown is have "highlights" put in, where they lighten only strands, not the whole head of hair. It's less damaging and is an attempt to re-capture the naturalness of their original hair. It doesn't work 100%, but the better the colorist the better the result.
    Thanks. It must have nothing to do with these SNPs then. I know nothing about bleaching and stuff. I just show up in "saloon" to get a hair cut. Still, for many years I cut it myself with a machine. More practical. :)
    Well, I cogitated that because my cousin got a different result, but now that you said, perhaps it had something to do with his original hair color, lighter than mine. At the end, these SNPs affect just few of my beard, if they make any difference at all.

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    I was born with dark hair, it fell out and than it was platinum blonde and very curly. As I got older it stayed very curly in the back and straightened out in the front. Its now turning golden brown with a reddish tinge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regio X View Post
    Thanks. It must have nothing to do with these SNPs then. I know nothing about bleaching and stuff. I just show up in "saloon" to get a hair cut. Still, for many years I cut it myself with a machine. More practical. :)
    Well, I cogitated that because my cousin got a different result, but now that you said, perhaps it had something to do with his original hair color, lighter than mine. At the end, these SNPs affect just few of my beard, if they make any difference at all.
    I meant to say I don't remember the genetics of it. That was a typo.

    How much red is in your dark hair (i.e. the snps) might perhaps influence how "much" red shows up. I don't know.

    This is what I quickly found:
    Why does hair turn orange?

    Your hair isn't one solid color. In fact, the color you see when you look in the mirror is a combination of different pigments all blending to create a natural hair color. If your hair is dark in particular, there is an abundance of red pigment that is hidden underneath, giving depth to your brown or black hair. When you lighten it with dye or bleach, you reveal this base tone and this is where things can start to go awry.
    Not enough red pigment was bleached out.

    Hair turns orange for one key reason: because it wasn't lightened enough to reach blonde. In order to dye hair blonde, you need to reach the yellow stage, where the majority of red pigment has already been bleached out. This yellow result is toned with a violet-based color to neutralize the yellow tone and dye your hair a natural shade of blonde.
    If you haven't reached the yellow stage, you can't dye hair blonde because it simply isn't light enough in most cases. You can tone out the base tones, but your hair won't tone to blonde. Orange hair can be toned to light brown, however, and this is one choice of correction available.
    You removed the bleach too soon.

    People who are intimidated by the use of bleach or have fairly dark hair and remove the bleach too soon often end up with orange hair. When they try to tone it with a blonde dye, the dye won't cover it or have much of an effect because there's just not enough color in it to work as intended.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regio X View Post
    Just checked my parents'. My father has the same result as mine for rs2228479 (AG), while my mother has GG (ancestral). On the other hand, my father has rs1805005 GG (ancestral), whereas my mother has TT (derived). So it possibly means that this "beard feature", shared by my father and I, is closer related to rs2228479 (?), while my son's hair when baby could have been closer related to rs1805005.

    Btw, they're all in MC1R gene. Here're the magnitudes at SNPedia associated to the derived alleles:
    rs1805008 TT: 3
    rs885479 AA: 2
    rs2228479 AA: ?
    rs1805006 AA: 3
    rs1110400 CC: ?
    rs1805005 TT: ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Regio X View Post
    Interesting. So the "situation" must be similar. Please take a look on your results for these SNPs listed at the Project, in order to check if the trait could have something to do with any of them. If you tested at FTDNA or MyHeritage, you likely won't find rs885479. The others should be there.
    By the way, those two SNPs for which I'm heterozygous must make some difference, I guess, because I remember that in my teens a cousin decided to "bleaching" the hair using a product. He had lighy brown, and his hair became blond after few applications. The result was nice. I decided to try it too, but mine became reddish with few apps. I didn't understand why, and haven't tried further. I looked ridiculous. Lol Not sure whether it's something common to happen or if most of people would get also blond using it.
    @Regio.
    My results according your appointment. I don’t know what this means



    rs1805008 frequency graph by population:


    rs885479 frequency graph by population:


    rs2228479 frequency graph by population:


    rs1805006 No ghaph

    rs 1110400 No graph

    rs18005005 frequency graph by population:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I meant to say I don't remember the genetics of it. That was a typo.

    How much red is in your dark hair (i.e. the snps) might perhaps influence how "much" red shows up. I don't know.

    This is what I quickly found:
    Why does hair turn orange?

    Your hair isn't one solid color. In fact, the color you see when you look in the mirror is a combination of different pigments all blending to create a natural hair color. If your hair is dark in particular, there is an abundance of red pigment that is hidden underneath, giving depth to your brown or black hair. When you lighten it with dye or bleach, you reveal this base tone and this is where things can start to go awry.
    Not enough red pigment was bleached out.

    Hair turns orange for one key reason: because it wasn't lightened enough to reach blonde. In order to dye hair blonde, you need to reach the yellow stage, where the majority of red pigment has already been bleached out. This yellow result is toned with a violet-based color to neutralize the yellow tone and dye your hair a natural shade of blonde.
    If you haven't reached the yellow stage, you can't dye hair blonde because it simply isn't light enough in most cases. You can tone out the base tones, but your hair won't tone to blonde. Orange hair can be toned to light brown, however, and this is one choice of correction available.
    You removed the bleach too soon.

    People who are intimidated by the use of bleach or have fairly dark hair and remove the bleach too soon often end up with orange hair. When they try to tone it with a blonde dye, the dye won't cover it or have much of an effect because there's just not enough color in it to work as intended.
    Very interesting, Angela. Thanks!
    I myself did it, but I don't remember how exactly. It was long time ago. I just remember I gave up soon after that reddish showed up, and I certainly won't try it again. :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duarte View Post
    @Regio.
    My results according your appointment. I don’t know what this means



    rs1805008 frequency graph by population:


    rs885479 frequency graph by population:


    rs2228479 frequency graph by population:


    rs1805006 No ghaph

    rs 1110400 No graph

    rs18005005 frequency graph by population:
    Thanks. So we have the same result for rs2228479 and almost all others. Our difference is rs1805005.

    "rs2228479, known as Val92Met or V92M, is one of several SNPs in the MC1R gene commonly associated with red (or blond) hair and poor tanning, but note its high presence in one Asian population"

    Curiously, the highest frequency of rs2228479 AA is found among a Chinese group.

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    My son was born with nary a hair on his scull and then he had dark hair and then he had curly light red hair then straight blonde then curly light brown hair then curly brown where it has stayed.

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    Very often the rule is: colour at birth (when hair!) like the adult colour (spite even adult it tends to darken slowly), then lightening about some months, (more or less) before to darken again); the change between birth and adulthood is less evident if the adult will be light haired; among future adult dark haired people, the constraste could be very striking, particularly in equilibrated mixed pops (heterozygoty and genetic dominance maybe not plain before some age?); in generally dark haired pops, the stage of lightening doesn't go so far. One problem: a lot of people don't evaluate correctly the babies hair colour at birth, for technical reasons. (wet, glued and tiny hairs, often)
    As a rule too, very bright red hairs tend to tarnish with age, sometimes abruptly after adolescence, spite the eyebrows, body hairs keep their original colour, and skin keep on very light. BTW red hairs tend often to whiten early.
    Every rule has its exceptions. Someones know more 'cahotic' evolutions, but it's seldom.
    I think that, as said by some forumers, hormones seems to play a role: changes in colour and texture occur, not so rarely, during pregnancy, and not always in the same proportions for every baby. Some cases too for people undergoing chimiotherapy (colour, texture).
    Angela, your #3 post put the shame on me, poor man without faith! (LOL).

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    Very often the rule is: colour at birth (when hair!) like the adult colour (spite even adult it tends to darken slowly), then lightening about some months, (more or less) before to darken again); the change between birth and adulthood is less evident if the adult will be light haired; among future adult dark haired people, the constraste could be very striking, particularly in equilibrated mixed pops (heterozygoty and genetic dominance maybe not plain before some age?); in generally dark haired pops, the stage of lightening doesn't go so far. One problem: a lot of people don't evaluate correctly the babies hair colour at birth, for technical reasons. (wet, glued and tiny hairs, often)
    As a rule too, very bright red hairs tend to tarnish with age, sometimes abruptly after adolescence, spite the eyebrows, body hairs keep their original colour, and skin keep on very light. BTW red hairs tend often to whiten early.
    Every rule has its exceptions. Someones know more 'cahotic' evolutions, but it's seldom.
    I think that, as said by some forumers, hormones seems to play a role: changes in colour and texture occur, not so rarely, during pregnancy, and not always in the same proportions for every baby. Some cases too for people undergoing chimiotherapy (colour, texture).
    Angela, your #3 post put the shame on me, poor man without faith! (LOL).
    I risked the wrath of my son by posting pictures of him as a month old baby, a four year old, and an eighteen year old! :) No harm done; I took all the pictures down pretty soon. :)

    I think I even showed you a picture of my platinum haired daughter when she made her first communion. Had she found out my life wouldn't have been worth living! :)

    The roll of the genetic dice can have strange results, at least with Italians.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I risked the wrath of my son by posting pictures of him as a month old baby, a four year old, and an eighteen year old! :) No harm done; I took all the pictures down pretty soon. :)

    I think I even showed you a picture of my platinum haired daughter when she made her first communion. Had she found out my life wouldn't have been worth living! :)

    The roll of the genetic dice can have strange results, at least with Italians.
    I 'have confidence in you, Angela.
    This last sentance of mine was kind of a joke. But at first (long ago now) I found it very doubtful. But exceptions or curious cases exist, and I accept it. example: Very light eyed parents having darker eyed children is very seldom, but it occurs (in Poland by example, according to someones), and some explanations, sensible, have been proposed (interaction of several sensitive loci).
    Don't worry, I trust you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    I 'have confidence in you, Angela.
    This last sentance of mine was kind of a joke. But at first (long ago now) I found it very doubtful. But exceptions or curious cases exist, and I accept it. example: Very light eyed parents having darker eyed children is very seldom, but it occurs (in Poland by example, according to someones), and some explanations, sensible, have been proposed (interaction of several sensitive loci).
    Don't worry, I trust you.
    I was only teasing you, Moesan.

    Humor doesn't always translate when you're only communicating through words. :)

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    I was born with curly black hairs, got ash blond at the age of 7-10, from 24 on got darker again, and with 60 the curly hairs returned somewhat grayish.

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